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Radeva, Cernius moving on from Newport Harbor girls' tennis team

Newport Harbor singles players don't plan to be back next year for Sailors as they focus on other opportunities.

June 16, 2012|By Matt Szabo

"Personally, for me, being on the tennis team was the best experience I've ever had in sports and had at Newport Harbor," Young said. "It was the highlight of my high school experience. Personally, I would never think of quitting the team because it had such a quality impact on me. Kristen doesn't just teach us how to be good tennis players. She teaches us how to be good people, and good students ... High school tennis isn't necessarily for everyone, but for me it was the best thing that I've ever done."

Young said she has had no problem with the way the program has been run, even if it has meant some of her classmates — and friends — have left the team.

"I think it's fair the way the Kristen has set it up," Young said. "You have to show your team that you're giving 100% ... it depends on the person. If I didn't have the high school team and Kristen, I wouldn't be where I'm at or going to play in college. My family can't afford for me to have private lessons three or four times a week. Having that team there to hit with me whenever I need to, or to train or go condition with me, that has been huge. I know I would not have gotten any of that if I was just a singles tournament player."

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Case declined to discuss specifics of the program's operation, but pointed to the team's success.

"Once the team is made and there are team practices, yes, I like the girls to be at the team practices," Case said. "It's all about teamwork. The only reason we've been able to accomplish what we've accomplished is due to teamwork. The teamwork aspect is more important to me than winning titles."

Fletcher Olson, a longtime coach who remains affiliated with the team, said the summer program, which typically consists of running in the morning and practice in the afternoon, is nothing new. Once the team tryouts take place in early July, the summer camp consists of running with the team three days a week from 6:30-7:30 a.m., as well as hitting for two hours in the afternoons four times a week. On Friday mornings running and hitting takes place for three hours.

"If you look at water polo and football, it's pretty much on par with what everyone else does," Olson said. "The program that we have in place has been in place for 22 years. Not a lot of change."

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